The Five Elements Seal is a powerful technique that is used to block or disturb the target's chakra flow.
Once the seal is completed, the target will become unconscious and unable to fight for a short time. Orochimaru performed this technique to tamper with Naruto Uzumaki's seal. The original seal allowed a small amount of the Nine-Tails' chakra to always mix into Naruto's, but the additional seal disturbs this, preventing Naruto from using the Nine-Tails' chakra or even controlling his own chakra properly. This is because an odd-numbered seal creates an imbalance when placed on top of an even-numbered seal. When Orochimaru later notices that the seal has been removed, he remarks that there are very few ninja capable of doing so, like Jiraiya.
As hinted by Jiraiya, the formula for this technique differs from individual to individual as he was able to (correctly) speculate Orochimaru was responsible for placing the seal on Naruto, even though he was never shown to confirm that speculation.
- The "Five Elements" referred to in the name of this technique are the Chinese Five Elements, the Five Movements (五行, Japanese: Gogyō, Chinese: Wǔxíng):
- Metal (金, Chinese: jīn),
- Wood (木, Chinese: mù),
- Water (水, Chinese: shuǐ),
- Fire (火, Chinese: huǒ),
- and Earth (土, Chinese: tǔ),
instead of the five chakra elements used in most other techniques, the Five Greats (五大, Godai):
- Earth (土, tsuchi),
- Water (水, mizu),
- Fire (火, hi),
- Wind (風, kaze),
- and Lightning (雷, kaminari).
This suggests the elements are merely symbolic.